Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Flowers, mammals, birds assortment

Blooming flower, I'm assuming one of the Brassicaceae from general form.. by the small watercourse by stone wall by cistern palm. I also found something very like this blooming just off north watercourse dirt road last season, but later in the season and several hundred yards to the west of this one.. no other places yet.

Fumitory growing by fence down some steps across our street. Most likely Fumaria densiflora as only that one blooms this early and form and colour pretty much match.

Mallow.. a clump of them were growing around the base of an Ailanthus planted on our street sidewalk.

This one's for you, Veronikka! This is a speedwell, Veronica cymbalaria found near the Shadiker hyrax colony, along foot of a bank which I believe gets water run off as these speedwells favour such areas and several were blooming there.

This pic shows the delicate purple flowers which seem to lose their petals so readily.. as you see the one at the top is almost denuded.

Monday 4 Jan
: also: (cattle ) egret flew up from cistern area disappeared behind east pine grove towards Hizmeh. Stone curlew as it was getting dark.

Tuesday 5 Jan: fox barks (?) over towards bat cave, husband saw something moving about around crest of hill to north.. fox? feral dog?

Sunbird in cape honeysuckle, house sparrows and laughing dove (coos) in garden.

Buteo over cistern

Hooded crow about, frequent jackdaw calls, Syrian woodpecker call. Dueling great tits, one in pines down from valley road, one from somewhere around the pumping station. Alarm calls of chiffchaffs, 'pink' calls of chaffinches and one seen on tree top just down west of valley road. Graceful warbler calls. Bulbul seen on acacia and calls.

No gazelle or hyrax.

Vegetation: Brassicaceae type yellow by east watercourse beyond cistern, also white speedwells beginning to bloom there.

Wednesday 6 Jan: . While we were still on our street husband suggested looking over valley towards north field with the binoculars and I laughed out loud because there were two gazelle right in the middle of my first view! They stayed in that area, very north part of north field, not far from watercourse in the open , quite lush grazing there now, as well as lower hillslopes.

I spotted Fox seen on hillslope just up from bat cave and Husband noticed some hyrax at Shadiker colony, adult and juvenile. That's all three of our major mammals today, nice.

Blackbird song and calls, great tit scolding churr on north facing pine slopes, graceful warbler calls, chiffchaff alarm calls, Eurasian sparrowhawk flew over north valley dirt road, heading towards bat cave for a change.

garden: laughing dove coos, house sparrows, sunbird in cape honeysuckle as usual. Hooded crows, feral pigeons, jackdaws about as usual.

Thursday 7th Jan: Found two more blooming red anemones, these part way up west hillslope of windsurfer hill, I fancied a little ramble through a cypress grove there to see what vegetation was coming up.. thyme, spurge and thorny burnet filling out with leaves, winter crocus pretty much past now. Fresh gazelle scat along that way but didn't manage to see any gazelle. We did see a pair of feral dogs.. male dingo brownish colour leading way, female, white with brown patches looked like she had milk, following.. we first saw them under pines just north of sapling field and they made their way over towards the small olive grove.

Immature black redstart on a boulder on the hill, blackbirds and bulbuls pre roost calls on the way back around east watercourse as it approaches central trail. Others today, jackdaws, lots of calls, Eurasian jays, calls today and yesterday.. hadn't heard them in a while. Sunbird last few mornings, (and now for that matter, it's 6.12 am friday morning and I hear the sunbird squeaking out in the garden somewhere. Also heard singing blackbird more distant and hooded crow calls) Hardly any white wagtail calls lately..where did they go?


Susan said...

Hi Gila,
I saw the fox this morning. After noticing from my window that four gazelles were running very fast up the hillside, I wondered what they could be running from. A couple of seconds later, I spotted him. Nice size (if I could see him that clearly from my window, he had to be pretty big), the tail in a beautiful plume. Watched him lope along for a little bit, until he disappeared between the trees. I guess he was disappointed--no yummy gazelle for breakfast!
Years ago, I saw a pair of foxes on a large boulder right below my window. It was nighttime, but there is a light right above where they were sitting, so we got a clear view of them. They were howling together. It was quite unearthly.

Yaar Biriah said...

good to hear from you:) The fox would be very hopeful indeed!:) Perhaps it could get a new born if the mother had left it long enough but against the adults it doesn't have a chance.. still, the gazelles are spooked by them as you see. In the south of the city a pack of jackals hunt the gazelle by katamon but not sure if we get jackals.. though the dark foxes in the north of the area have a very 'jackaly' look.. white tip to tail says they are foxes.. I do wonder if they can hybridize.